July 31, 2015
Hello readers! We are thrilled to be hosting a tour stop for
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
and equally excited to have Adi Alsaid stop by the blog!
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NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES follows Dave and Julia, two besties with a complete and utter hatred of clichés, in their final months of high school.
Determined to have a unique teenage experience, they had compiled a list of things never to do when they entered high school---The Nevers. Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he's broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It's either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.
As senior year begins to draw to a close, Dave and Julia decide that the best way to have a cliché- free high school experience is to finish out the list, crossing out each Never as they go. Every Never leads to a new adventure, a new inside joke and an unexpected realization about the people with which they’ve spent the last four years.
It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they've actually been missing out on high school. ..and maybe even on love.
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
My pleasure! Thanks for having me.
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
Best friends Dave and Julia rediscover a list of high school cliches they promised themselves never to do and decide to do them all.
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
Hehe. Wasn’t a dream, and can’t say that it was even one specific moment of inspiration. I think much of the drive to write this book came from the desire to explore two teens stepping outside their comfort zones. Senior year is an interesting time in a kid’s life, you’re starting to look forward to the future while definitely looking back on the experiences you’ve already had. You’re already in a fairly confusing place emotionally, and I wanted to combine that by making these two characters decide to cast aside everything they held to be true, even if it’s just to make fun of it. I remember my teenage years being a mix of wanting to be an original, unique person, while also yearning to fit in with others, and that was the specific teenage feeling I wanted to explore.
And, oh, hey, what if Dave’s been secretly in love with Julia for years and has to deal with that too? Because authors are jerks to their characters.
Tell us about the main character(s).
Let’s start with Julia, since she’s driving force of the friendship. Julia is funny, smart, and fairly obsessed with staying off the beaten path. It’s a trait she picked up from her birth mom, who gave her up for adoption to continue living her bohemian, traveling lifestyle. Blessed with two supportive dads who understand her complicated relationship with her mom, Julia is impetuous and wild and wants nothing more than to avoid becoming a cliché.
Dave is a little more soft-spoken and along for the ride, especially because he’s been in love with Julia for almost as long as they’ve been friends. He accepts this love silently, maybe feeling a little guilty that he’s become a cliché himself. Since his mom’s death, Dave has had a quiet relationship with his dad and his older brother Brett, and it’s Julia’s company that he values the most.
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
I most enjoyed how Dave and Julia’s friendship blossomed on the page. Their banter, their shared quirks, their clear love for each other in one way or another. I think for the novel to work at all you have to believe that they have a strong, shared history, and I’m very proud of how that came through on the page. I’m also pretty happy with the comedic aspect. I wanted the book to be funny, and so far, early reviews seem to say that I was at least marginally successful at that, letting me avoid the fear that I’m not as funny as I think I am.
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
Halfway through the novel, we switch from Dave’s POV into Julia’s. The first few chapters in her eyes definitely were the ones I spent most time reworking. In Dave’s eyes, we can see exactly who Julia is, but my first attempts at capturing that from her perspective felt a little flat/out of line with her character. In my first round of revisions, about four or five chapters were completely cut and had to be reworked.
What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
I’m working on a number of things, and hopefully will be able to announce something soon!
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success in your writing future!!
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